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Posts tagged ‘Wedding’

157. The Last Few Weeks In Pictures

1. I attended my closest cousin’s graduation in Manchester which was a fantastic experience. I got to be involved in the drama of the day and cheer embarrassingly loud when she got her three seconds of glory strutting across the stage. But it was the simple things I loved the most, like helping her to decide which shoes to wear and reminding her to smile big!

mele grad pic

Proud bunch of people right there!

The mandatory hat toss!

The mandatory hat toss!

2. My cousin’s obsession with Loom Bands. 

It's a masterpiece!

Isn’t it magnificent?

3. Chilling at home

How much desi can you fit into one picture?

I am armed with a MOP and I’m not afraid to use it!

Me and my mummy! Don't we look alike?!

Me and my mummy! Don’t we look alike?!

My dad 'training' me. Do you know how big and how heavy that wrench was?! Friggin' HUGE

My dad ‘training’ me. Do you know how big and how heavy that wrench was?! Friggin’ HUGE!

4. When I was four years old I met a girl called Dilpreet and she became my very first friend. Fast forward 19 years and here I am attending her wedding. She looked absolutely stunning and the whole thing was so well planned; I couldn’t be happier for the couple.

IMG-20140726-02376

Check out that ring!

Me and Dilpreet at her Mehndi event

Me and Dilpreet at her Mehndi event

Haha inadvertently ended up matching the bride!

Haha inadvertently ended up matching the bride!

5. Last but not least- Eid! A time to celebrate the the end of Ramadan and the tough cycle of sleep deprivation, hunger and annoying heat! 

Me and my bro

Me and my bro

Chilling at the family barbecue

Chilling at the family barbecue

(Some) of my cousins being silly

(Some) of my cousins (and me) being silly

Over and Out!

155. Types of People You See On the Dancefloor at an Indian Wedding

The Closet Professional

These people have to be physically dragged onto the dancefloor but once they get there, they’re busting out moves you’ve never seen before and they’re bruk-bruk-brukking it down like no tomorrow.

The Girls Standing in a Circle doing ‘Tali’

You know what I mean. Shuffle around and do the customary clap in front of you and behind your shoulder. Basically the brown version of ring a ring a roses.

The Bhangra Champions

I swear at every party, there’s a duo of Punjabi guys hitting such fierce moves that it makes your thighs hurt just watching them. Balle balle my friends.

The Uncle

Towards the end of the night, Coca Cola and/or alcohol lead to over confident uncles dancing the dances from three decades ago. I’m talking moonwalk, night fever, the standing-on-your-toes Jackson style and randomness.

Luna Lovegood

That one person in the corner who’s just doing their own thang oblivious to everyone else.

The one that wants to dance but isn’t allowed to

Sometimes people are forced to contain their enthusiasm in case they dishonour the family name with booty shaking. Doesn’t stop them trying though.

The kids

Their dancing basically consists of jumping up and down with their arms in the air. 

The Non-Indian People

Usually looking mildly uncomfortable and attempting to do the one hand on hip, other hand doing the lightbulb. They start getting really excited when a Western song comes on, only to realise it’s a Bhangra remix. Sorry guys.

The bride and groom

Ahh the awkward First dance. Here several things are observed. The couple maintain a safe distance apart. His hands are super glued to her side, no wandering allowed! And of course the mandatory sway/ shuffle. All the while the aunties look on tutting.

Over and Out!

104. Excuse my French but I’m in France

I’M JUST SAYIN’

This is what I should have posted several days ago but better late than never eh. So as I’ve banged on and on about, I went to Paris this weekend for my cousin’s wedding. SO much happened even within a short amount of time but these were some of the high/low lights:

Travelling
The train station was an hour and a half away from the house we were staying at and the house was another hour away from the venue. Who came up with this fabulous planning?- I don’t know- but my god did we do a lot of driving. It was really annoying too because it was so hot in the car that our make up was melting.

The House
I have family all of the world, literally at least one representative from every continent attended this wedding and we were ALL, yes ALL, housed in this one place. It was absolutely stunning, a huge paradise in the middle of nowhere but it still only had 5 bedrooms and there were 31 of us. Yeah you can imagine that not many of us slept on beds. What’s worse was that there were only 3 bathrooms so goodbye privacy. People were hiding behind beds and doors when they were changing but eventually we all just gave up. Trust me when I say that I have seen enough aunty’s stomachs for a lifetime.

Drama
If you know anything about asian weddings, you know that they can’t happen without some drama. This occasion was no exception. My Khala aka. my mum’s sister and bride’s mother is a very emotional person and when the Nikkah (the closest to vows Muslims get) finished, she promptly passed out and I was the idiot who had to run to the guy’s section and get help. Then the crying commenced. It was like a chain reaction. The bride started weeping, and then her sister started which set my mum off and next thing I know my own eyes were wet.

The Rush
There were three events in two days and I was there for two nights. Everything was rushed. As soon as I arrived (literally as soon as I got my foot in the door), I was told to get ready and change my clothes but I was knackered and couldn’t be asked so I just stayed in my jeans. I eventually got the energy to change for the second event but I wore no make up. I sorted things out for the third though.
For the journey home, I caught a very early train back to London and because of the timings and distance from the venue, I actually didn’t sleep for 26 hours. It’s always been on my list of things to do before I die to pull an all nighter but I never thought it would be under those circumstances…

Language Problems
There were many. I speak English, understand Urdu but speak it to a below average standard whereas the rest of them are fluent in French and speak better Urdu than me. Basically there were three languages flying around the whole time and it got hella confusing.

Heels
I fucking hate heels. I wore them for two days straight and it murdered my feet. I genuinely limped home. Don’t do it!

Dancing
In case you don’t know, I love to dance… in private. I’m absolutely terrible but I enjoy practising my balle balle and Beyonce booty shake… in private…because you know I’m brown and dancing unashamedly would ruin my reputation. Now at any other wedding I would never be expected to dance. Come a family member’s wedding however and suddenly my mum is actively telling me to join in. Great! I’m sorry but I am not a closet professional dancer. Let me eat my biryani in peace.

I know this all sounds like a huge rant but it was a wonderful experience really. My cousin looked beautiful (though she won’t let me put up any pics of her yet -_-) and it was amazing to be part of such a Punjabi energetic wedding.

Without further ado, here are some pictures. More may be added later.

Over and Out!

Note: If you live under a rock and don’t understand the title and first line, it’s from ‘Ninjas’ in Paris.

102. Crazy Week!

I only have a a few moments to write this post. This entire week has been unbelievably busy! I have started my internship with Towers Watson and I’m working in the retirement department . I’ve just finished my first week and it’s been quite interesting. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in training sessions, using Excel, calculating transfer values, learning lots of new lingo and sending A LOT of emails. It’s so different from university but everyone has been so supportive and helpful. I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing half the time but I am getting there… slowly.

Tomorrow morning, I am catching the Eurostar to Paris for my cousin’s wedding. Half of my (very large) extended family is already there and the rest of them are travelling with us. There’s going to be two days of crazy parties and then I’m returning on Monday morning. I’m super excited about this. It’ll be great to see everyone in the same place and it’s an excuse to dress up and dance about like an idiot. I’m going to get my balle balle on. And it’s all happening in Paris- the city of lurveee.

Gosh isn’t this beautiful?! ❤ Please someone take me there one day…. *sigh*

Okay I have to dash and pack but I have loads more to say about the internship and I’m sure there’ll be a few stories from the wedding. Eeeee!

Over and Out!

 

96. Neck pain, aching feet, stiff arms….yup sounds like a good day of SHOPPING!

My cousin who is about to get married came to visit to buy all her accessories and decorations. First of all I’ve gotto tell you IT IS SO MUCH FUN SHOPPING WITH A BRIDE.

We only had 2 days to buy everything so we had to be fast! Of course we went to Southall ie. Mini India in England. I got to go all the fancy shops and actually buy stuff instead of just walking around dreaming and contemplating my future (with excitement but also a heavy dose of fear). Everyone was super willing to help because they knew we had big moneys to spend. Additionally Southall is one of the few places in England where you can ‘negotiate on the price’ and I swear my mum is a force of nature when it comes to bargaining. She is FIERCE! The vendors might come up with a figure of £120 and she’ll just dive in and say NO £60. Like I would be too embarrassed to even start that low… She’s clearly not though and to her credit, she’ll walk away probably paying £80 because she is BOSS.

My friends will know that I like all things shiny but my cousin really puts me to shame. She loves her bling! She wants to wear the biggest, shiniest, brightest jewellery possible. She picked out what I thought were HUGE earrings and dismissed them casually… ‘nope not big enough’. Like woah sister! Are you still hoping to have ears after this?

If she could have this, she probably would… It’s wayyyyy too much in my opinion but each to their own…

She also bought 5 inch heels. I made the mistake of trying them on and I seriously could not walk; the best I could do was an awkward shuffle and even wearing them for under a minute killed my feet. She on the other hand was strutting like a model, no problem. Talking of shoes…

Me no like

So many of the heels I saw were poor excuses for shoes. There was literally just a small strip that was supposed to hold your foot in place. I tried one of them on and my feet felt naked. Why would anyone want so much of their feet on show?! Feet aren’t even pretty. Also I don’t know why but wearing them made me feel like a stripper. I almost expected people to start throwing money. Maybe it was the clear heels I dunno. All I know is, never again.

 

 

My cousin was also very excited to buy some parandas which are things you plait into your hair. It’s essentially a decorative piece that some brides like to wear on their Mehndi. Ooh we also got her chooriya which are bangles. We went to this guy who specialises in this sorta stuff and showed him what colours she was going to wear; he rummaged around in the back for a while and came back with a lovely bangle set that was spot on in terms of colour combinations. It was expensive though!

Bangles bangles everywhere

This is what parandas look like

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This shopping trip was also a chance for me and my mum to look around and buy something for ourselves to wear. I saw this stunning blue dress thing that had lots of shiny stuff around the neck and they let me try it on. Guys, I looked good…my first thought was wow I look like a Middle Eastern princess. If I wore that to a wedding and didn’t come back with at least three marriage proposals, I would be disappointed. That was how good I looked. Howeverrr I was in danger of upstaging the bride and it was rather expensive so I didn’t buy it. In fact I didn’t buy anything which means I need to go to Southall… again!

Car Shambles

I also need to tell you guys about our car.

My dad was dropping us all off at Southall; he pulled out the driveway and drove a little way down the road when I started hearing this funny sound from the right hand side. I told my dad to stop and as soon as we got out of the car, we noticed that the back tyre was flat. Great start!

My dad keeps all sorts of tools and equipment in the car boot so we had everything we needed to change the tyre. I was in charge of jacking the car up (manually by the way- took bloody ages). My mum and my cousin were very helpfully still sitting in the car- thanks a lot for making this harder. Me and my dad undid the nuts and lugged the spare tyre out, replaced the tyre, redid the nuts…only to realise that it didn’t have enough air in it. Yup our replacement tyre was also flat! Wonderful! We had a (manual) foot pump in the car so again it was me standing there like an idiot pretty much jumping up and down to get air in the tyre. However I was failing epicly… because the foot pump had a crack and air was escaping. Eventually we borrowed an electronic air pump and got it all sorted out but my God, anything that could of have gone wrong DID go wrong….

Just another day in the life of Aliya.

Over and Out!

 

82. A Bachelor No More…

Looks like my brother has found himself a lady… finally. He’s turning 30 this year so everyone was kinda like… get a move on. He’s actually been ‘looking’ for quite a while but his list of requirements was so long that I didn’t think there was a woman on Earth that encompassed everything he wanted. My Dad succinctly put it: ‘Stop looking for the perfect woman. You’re not the perfect guy’. In the end he compromised.

He’s actually my half brother so I haven’t really been involved in the ‘search’ process. We just heard updates every now and again. For people that aren’t brown, here’s an insight on how some weddings happen in our culture.

  1. You announce that you are single and want to get married.
  2. You ask your friends and family to spread the news far and wide.
  3. They return with details of other people who are also in the marriage market that they reckon might be compatible with you.
  4. You then request more information about the people who piqued your interest. In particular, questions are asked about the family and whether there is any unsavoury gossip about them floating around.
  5. If these basic tests are passed, a meeting is requested, usually at the girl’s house.
  6. Often the first time, the guy doesn’t actually see the girl. He meets her parents first and everyone chats. Here the guy gets drilled on his job and future prospects. The girl will probably be listening to every word from the banisters.

Sometimes the process ends here. a) One of the parties isn’t keen on the other or b) both parties like each other and decide this is enough to agree to a marriage.

If you’re a ‘modern’ brown person, the process can continue.

  1. The guy and the girl get to talk and if they’re really lucky, they’ll get some privacy by which I mean her parents are on the other side of a glass door that’s left slightly open.
  2. If they can still tolerate each other, there will be more meetings of this kind until they find something major they disagree on (in which the whole process starts again) or everything is dandy and it’s happy days. In my brother’s case, this took approximately 7 meetings which personally I think is really quick for such a huge life decision but hey.

I have SO MUCH to say about this process (not all critical) but I think I’ll save it for another post. For now, I will continue with my story.

Right so my brother is 29, turning 30. Here’s the shock, horror part. The girl is 20, turning 21. That’s right, SHE’S YOUNGER THAN ME. I am having real problems getting over this. I know everyone is different and we all have different levels of maturity but if someone asked me to get married right now (lol theoretically), I would request another 3 years.  Because I’m not ready. I would need a separate post listing all the reasons why but the biggest one is that I couldn’t possibly take care of someone else when I only just about manage to take care of myself.

Anyway, I’m going with my Dad on Sunday to meet the girl. Not only that, my Dad will be making a formal proposal on my brother’s behalf to the girl’s dad for her hand. To be honest I was surprised to be invited, but I’m curious to meet my new sister in law. Should be interesting….

Over and Out!

P.S. Mele, if you’re reading this, don’t tell everyone else about it.

62. This makes my blood boil.

So Aliya, you’re next! *wink*. Aliya, when are you getting hitched? Hey Aliya, have you thought about your wedding? You know what, I got asked all of these questions today and it’s not the first time. I keep getting asked these questions, particularly since I hit 21. It is just relentless.

Of course I want to get married, of course I want a family but I want to finish my degree first. Every time I say that, some of the aunties give me this look of disdain… oh you’re one of those ‘career minded’ women. They say it like it’s a dirty word. I’m sorry I actually want to use the education I worked so hard to get. I am sorry my ambition isn’t solely linked to finding a husband. Today an aunty said to me, haw you’re 21 and you can’t even make kheer (Indian dessert). Fine, it’s true. I can’t make kheer off the top of my head but I can prove S5 is an insoluble group and if I can do that, I sure as hell can follow a recipe and make some bloody kheer. Do you notice how the reverse argument doesn’t hold? Being able to make kheer doesn’t mean you can prove S5 is an insoluble group. But did I say that? No- because aunties get a free pass to be condescending but any retaliation from me makes me a ‘gustaak larki’ (ill mannered girl).

My mum is like the community agony aunt and being her daughter, I have heard all sorts of stuff about marriage problems and I have learnt a lot. I’mma speak some hard truths today because I am supremely pissed off. If you are a woman and you work, your marriage will be fairer. You know why? Because you put money on the table and guys might not respect you but they sure as hell respect money. There, I said it. If you don’t work, you can bet that when you go shopping, for every two things you put in the trolley, he will take one thing out and justify it with ‘but I pay the bills’. He won’t do that if you’re paying.

You know what aunties… I’mma get a real good job, buy a nice house and a nice car and if I want to buy new shoes, I’mma buy them because I can afford it.

Disclaimer: If this sounds like man hate, I apologise. If you are offended at my generalising, I apologise. I know there are exceptions to every rule but everything I’ve mentioned, I’ve observed firsthand. If you haven’t, then you’re very lucky.

Over and Out.